The first time I encountered the Mahabeers was about 9 years ago. I had just taken my sister from KZN she was about 4 at the time and I was completely overwhelmed I could barely afford providing for my own needs at the time. How much more another little person’s needs as well. I wanted to put my sister in a pre- school that would prepare her for school in the best possible way. Auntie Veniza owns a pre- school called Shekinah pre- school and it had come highly recommended. I had made my budget and had decided I’d cut a few things out to make sure my sister could go there. It was tough.
I paid the first month and when I tried to make a second payment I was told it wouldn’t be necessary. I didn’t understand, and when I asked I was told for all the years of pre- school leading up to primary school they would cover the expenses.
Uncle Ash and Auntie Vee taught me with this simple act of grace, that God blesses us so we can extend our blessing to others.
Kindness to the poor is a loan from God, and he will repay.
My life has not always been filled with male godly role- models, I’ve admired most from afar. A few years ago I encountered one up close when my cell group started being led by Uncle Ash and Auntie Vee. Before this we had greeted them from far and just knew them as a friendly couple from church.
The first time we went to their house, he told us his life story, he shared how much of a difficult upbringing he’d had and how he’d worked so hard to make it in life. He shared how God had transformed him, how he strived to be better than the men he had seen encountered in his life. He shared his father’s struggles. He shared how in contrast his life was completely different, since he had a relationship with Christ.
He had so many reasons to succumb to the toxicity around him and he chose to be a better man. He chose to lead in love, to be a loving husband and to work hard.
His life story taught me that where I have been in life is not an indication of where I am going. That God could also transform me.
They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony.
I remember once my house was robbed and I was crying at cell group sharing how terrified I was, sharing how when I drove into my yard and saw a group of men running out I just froze, I couldn’t think of anyone to call. I remember he sternly told me “NEXT TIME YOU CALL US, we will come help you, it doesn’t matter what time it is and what is happening we’ll come help you”. He was like a father to me.
I had the privilege of spending a lot of time with this couple and one thing that was always prevalent was how well he loved his Wife, it’s not hard to love a woman as wise and beautiful as Auntie Vee and I remember how he was so gentle with her, with the words he spoke, with the way he prayed, I watched how they always held hands, how they laughed and how they were always captivated by each other’s presence.
His love for Auntie V taught me to pray for a Godly man. A loving man.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. Ephesians 5:25
I remember as he started getting sick, we had always worshipped with him, I thought him being sick would mean he would just sit and watch us. NOT Uncle Ashwin he would walk up the stage, most times I could see he’s in pain but he’d worship. HE’d play drums, he’d sing, he’d praise GOD even in the midst of everything he was going through.
He taught me how to TRULY worship. He’s life was a life of WORSHIP.
BLESS THE LORD OH MY SOUL, AND ALL THAT IS WITHIN ME BLESS HIS HOLY NAME
I have many MANY stories that I could tell. I have many great memories of this man. These are by far my most treasured. I will never forget all the times he made us laugh, all the stories he told and all the love he shared. He was so generous.
Uncle Ashwin’s life ministered to me so much, I am sad, but I rejoice, for all his life has been, for all we learnt from him. I pray more men would live with his example in mind. I pray we may never forget how deeply he impacted our lives. We will love him always.
To the man who truly lived his life like Art. Whose treasure he now gets to enjoy in heaven and to his beautiful wife, his kids and his grandson. We mourn with you, we love. We know God will bring us through.
Life is Art